At present, the regulation of fertilisers in the EU is partly harmonised by Regulation (EC) No. 2003/2003 (the Fertilisers Regulation) and subsequent amending Regulations, which introduced technical and labelling requirements for ‘EC fertilisers’, i.e. those inorganic (mineral) fertilisers which comply with the fertiliser type designations specified in the Regulation.
These EC fertilisers must meet legal requirements regarding minimum nutritional content, safety and absence of adverse effects on the environment, and as such are allowed to freely circulate within the internal market. The Regulation, however, does not prevent Member States from additionally allowing the placing on the market of “national” fertilisers, i.e. products which are not designated as “EC fertilisers” but are produced according to national provisions.
On 16 July 2022, the new Fertilising Products Regulation (FPR), Regulation (EU) No. 2019/1109, will replace the existing Fertilisers Regulation, extending its scope to other fertilising and related materials such as plant biostimulants and agronomic additives. Plant biostimulants act on plant processes, improving nutrition and plant vigour; with the new fertiliser law, they will no longer be within the scope of the Plant Protection Products Regulation (No. 1107/2009). Agronomic fertiliser additives act on fertilisers and fertilising materials to enhance their uptake by the plant, thereby enhancing their efficacy for plant nutrition and reducing losses to the environment. Under the new Regulation, the scope will be widened to include both organic and inorganic fertilisers.